Skip to main content

tv   Lockup New Jersey--- Extended Stay  MSNBC  December 30, 2017 9:00pm-10:00pm PST

9:00 pm
due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. ♪ i guess some people look at you and don't like you for some reason. they just target in on you. >> a new inmate tries to adjust to life in jail. >> my bunky before, he kidnapped somebody at gunpoint, so you just -- you don't know who you're sleeping with. >> but he finds himself with a target on his back and the
9:01 pm
victim of violence. a drug smuggling scheme is uncovered in the jail's mail room. >> two cards glued together with four decks of heroin taped inside. >> the suspect is identified. >> i mean, i look -- i look guilty there, but if you look deeper into my background, you'll see that i don't have a reason for it. >> but will his claims of innocence hold up? located just across the hudson river from america's largest city, hackensack, new jersey is one of its oldest. while some consider it a suburb
9:02 pm
of new york city, hackensack has its own character and faces its own challenges. you can find examples just outside downtown, at the bergen county jail. >> he's cleared. >> while some of the men and women incarcerated here have been convicted, most are only charged with crimes and are awaiting trial and the resolution of their cases. >> this is like country club compared to my county. >> william bernard might disagree with the country club description. except for a brief stay for driving with a suspended license, this is his first extended stay in jail. bernard says his four months here have caused him panic attacks and worsened his stuttering. >> like i would stutter sometimes when the anxiety level would get real high on the outside, but nothing like on a -- like on a daily basis to where guys on the unit would be making fun of me because that's just, you know, the way i'm talking every day.
9:03 pm
i guess some people look at you and don't like you for some reason. they just target in on you, and a lot of them have been in there for 10 months, 12 months. so they're already basically, you know, all settled in. and i'm basically new. >> bernard is charged with threatening to kill and unlawful use of a firearm. for allegedly holding a bb gun pistol to his father's head. during the course of his arrest, he picked up additional charges of resisting and assault on police officers. he's pled not guilty to all and is awaiting trial. >> if i really think about the future, it really, being contained and not being able to see my family and just be way -- way overwhngtress is the fact that he's houd in a maximum security unit. he says he spends most of his time in his cell and trusts no
9:04 pm
one. not even the inmate worker who used to cut his hair. >> my barber, he stabbed somebody 27 times. they wound up taking him out of the unit after a couple of months of being there. then he bailed out of there and got in a fire fight with police officers and got shot seven times. my bunky before, he kidnapped somebody at gunpoint. was doing all types of drugs. he was doing robberies. so you just -- you don't know who you're sleeping with. >> one of the times bernard does leave his cell is to perform his duties as a unit maintenance worker. but he says even that led to trouble when another inmate got angry because bernard threw away the lid to his soup bowl. >> he came up behind me upstairs and just smacked me and smacked all the stuff out of my hands so it went all over the floor. >> because of his fear of being a snitch, bernard says he does not report his harassment to staff. and he says it was another set of problems in the free world that put him in this predicament.
9:05 pm
>> after my ex had left me, she had my daughter -- we just had hurricane irene. the house was wiped out. and then the house was getting fixed, done, we moved back in. six weeks later, sandy came. it was just like a one-two punch. and then i started drinking, like, real -- pretty heavy. like, i won't deny it. >> on the night of his arrest, bernard says his father accused him of stealing his keys and wallet. when bernard denied doing so, he says a heated argument ensued. >> he -- he basically said that i put a gun to his head and that i was going to kill him. which wasn't true. and when they came to arrest me, i was on the second floor of my home. and when they tried take me down to handcuff me, the three officers wound up throwing me down a flight of stairs by accident.
9:06 pm
and i split my head open and i broke my two ribs. >> according to the arresting officer's report, bernard was belligerent and began fighting with three officers as they ascended the staircase. they said bernard attempted to jump down the stairs and landed face first before sliding down to the landing. now bernard fears thta if his case goes to trial, his father will testify against him. >> just unbelievably -- unbelievably heartbroken and overwhelmed that i was actually put into a situation with my father, because i love my father. i'm very family-oriented. it's just absolutely heartbreaking. >> while alcohol could have played a role in bernard's troubles, jail staff say lately they've seen another drug leading to increased arrests, heroin. >> one of the key components to heroin being very popular, the
9:07 pm
opiate pills that are normally prescribed for pain are being abused by kids who eventually turn over to heroin because it costs a lot less money on the street. >> addiction also drives some inmates to feed their habits in jail. >> not what it happens often but there are occasions when the mail will be used to try and bring contraband into the facility. inmates become very ingenious and get relatives to try and mail them contraband, drugs. >> officer domenico was recently on mail room duty when he came across a suspicious birthday card. the card was soon turned over to one of the jail's investigators, officer obajinski. >> two cards glued together with four decks of heroin taped inside. it was addressed to inmate battaglia. >> the recipient of the card, nick battaglia, was immediately removed from his housing unit and confined to a single-person segregation cell. >> as far as inmate battaglia, no dealings with him inside the facility. very quiet inmate.
9:08 pm
seemed to be very respectful, but the way heroin takes over your body, it can change anybody. >> battaglia admits that prior to his arrest for aggravated assault, to which he has pled not guilty, he had completed a drug rehabilitation program. he says he knows nothing about the heroin-laced card. >> really, i didn't have anything to do with it. i've been clean 17 months now. i never lived before -- until i was sober. the sober life was the best life. >> i feel that someone, maybe my bunky -- we've been bunkies for 12 to 13 days -- maybe used my name to -- so they didn't have to worry themselves about it. i'm facing too much to even risk something like that. that's -- that's another five years. and i'm looking -- you know, my
9:09 pm
max is ten years on my charges that i have. >> there may be criminal charges filed against inmate battaglia. more than likely not because of the small amount that was coming in. and being that the -- the return address was phony, there's no way to determine who actually sent it in. >> battaglia does not know that yet. >> if they find me guilty, i'm going to be upset because i can't risk another charge. >> instead of criminal charges, battaglia and his cellmate, who requested to remain anonymous, will each be investigated and receive disciplinary hearings. >> how are you going to fight the case? >> my words. i'm just going to tell the truth. the first place i would look is the bunky. >> coming up -- >> when you moved into the cell with battaglia, are you aware of him doing that? >> battaglia's bunky speaks out. and william bernard is the subject of a jailhouse rumor.
9:10 pm
>> he is a [ bleep ] snitch. >> and then the rumor leads to violence. cannot live without it.
9:11 pm
9:12 pm
so if you can't live without it... why aren't you using this guy? it makes your wifi awesomely fast. no... still nope. now we're talking! it gets you wifi here, here, and here. it even lets you take a time out. no! no! yes! yes, indeed. amazing speed, coverage and control. all with an xfi gateway.
9:13 pm
find your awesome, and change the way you wifi. inside hackensack, new jersey's bergen county jail officer domenico recently discovered strips of heroin inside a greeting card mailed to inmate nick battaglia. >> any drug incorporated into a secure facility could cause a potential problem. you've got 800 other inmates that you're dealing with here. you need somebody to be sane. and the drug is going to, obviously, incapacitate somebody and make them not act appropriately. >> battaglia denies any knowledge of the card and has told staff he suspects his cellmate might be behind the scheme.
9:14 pm
jail officials have conducted an investigation. they have decided not to pursue criminal charges but will conduct internal disciplinary hearings starting with battaglia's cellmate, who has requested anonymity. >> there was a birthday card sent into the facility through the mail. the birthday card was tampered with. there was actually four bags of heroin in between the two birthday cards. the birthday card had the "e" number of your roommate. so can you make a statement on what your involvement is with this or -- >> i have no involvement at all with that. at all. only involvement i can see me having is being his celly. >> are you aware of him doing this? >> i was not aware of anything like that. >> so you had no involvement with this at all? at all. >>ou can step back out. i'll come see you in a few moments and let you know our decision. okay? >> yes. >> now the panel will hear from nick battaglia. >> there was a birthday card mailed in that had four bags of white powdery substance, possibly heroin. now is your chance to make a statement here.
9:15 pm
>> my name was on the card, so obviously i'm a prime suspect. i'm not saying i'm not. i mean, i look -- i look guilty there, but if you look deeper into my background, you'll see that i don't have a reason for it. i have 17 months clean. never once had a dirty piss for alcohol or any kinds of substances. i get money in my account regularly, so i don't need to sell the drugs. >> i want to know why your "e" number would be on that envelope. >> i didn't give them permission. i didn't -- >> give who permission? >> my roommate. i didn't give him permission at all to send anything like -- i don't -- >> so you're aware that he was getting it sent to him, but you didn't give him permission -- >> no, i assumed, now that i seen him in, i assume he had something to do with it. >> why do you feel that way? >> because he knew it was my birthday. he was in my room. he had access to my mail. i felt like if it was anybody it would be him. nobody -- nobody would be stupid
9:16 pm
enough to go in my room, you know, when i'm not there, anybody other than my roommate. you know. >> but you don't know for sure that he -- >> no, i don't -- i can't be 100%. if i would have known that it was coming in my name beforehand, i would have said something. >> step outside in the hallway. i'll call you back in in a few minutes. >> there's really no way i can get around it. it had my name on it. the only thing i have working for me is my background. and hopefully that works out for me. >> while battaglia's hopeful, there's a lot about the extent of the investigation that he doesn't know. >> during the course of the investigation it was proven that inmate battaglia and his cellmate were in cahoots in an attempt to get the heroin in. >> at the bergen county jail. this call may be monitored or recorded. >> the jail says it has phone recordings of battaglia and his cellmate setting up the scheme. >> in this particular case, some information was developed through the use of the phone system to conclusively determine
9:17 pm
that he said two gentlemen we trying to bring in heroin into the facility utilizing the mail system into the jail. >> all right. so we'll call battaglia back in. we'll let him know that we have, you know, concrete proof that he's involved in this. and if he's willing to tell us how much involvement he had, if he's going to let us know, he'll get less time. if he's just going to deny it and keep continually saying he doesn't know, he's going to get the maximum. >> right. >> according to disciplinary guidelines, the panel could put battaglia in segregation for up to 15 days. >> i just want to let you know that we have concrete evidence that your roommate was setting this whole thing up and you were involved, you were right there involved. what i want to try to explain to you so you're understanding is you can either tell me how far you were involved with this, which will make a difference of how many days you're going to get in lock, or you can sit here and continue to say you had nothing to do with it and i'll give you the max sanction. okay? because i know you were involved.
9:18 pm
it's just a matter of how much you were involved. okay? if you were doing it to try to help him out, or whatever the reason is, you need to tell me. >> i didn't know exactly what the contents were. i didn't know -- he asked me. i'm like don't get me [ bleep ] up. don't get me jammed up. he's like, can i use your name? i'm like, yeah, just don't -- then he asked me -- when he was on the phone he asked me, what's your -- what's your "e" number, what's your last name? i wasn't quite so sure -- >> you gave this strange guy that you just met in jail permission to use your name and your e number on something you that didn't know what he was getting? like you didn't know he was bringing in drugs or you didn't know what drugs or tobacco? you know what i'm saying? it's like you had to have known his purpose. i can't see you saying, yeah, sure, go right ahead. >> i knew it wasn't right. i didn't think it was drugs. i didn't think -- i thought maeontactgis victim and didn't want to use -- go under his name. i didn't think he'd be stupid enough to try to get drugs in here. >> so you know the max sanction for each charge here is 15 days, okay?
9:19 pm
so being you cooperated somewhat, we're going to give you 10 days in lock. all right? so you're done. good to go. >> all right. i felt like just cooperating. i don't know. just seemed like the better thing to do at the time. my bunky. i'm done with him. we can't associate anymore. >> while battaglia's relationships in the jail might have landed him in segregation, william bernard's have resulted in violence. he was recently assaulted in his housing unit. >> what happened was an inmate gomez polanco and inmate rivera assaulted inmate bernard as he walked up the stairs. they got him at the first couple stairs. bernard was already on the ground. definitely was out of it. once it was called out, we were probably inside less than a minute after the fight was called out. bernard was laying on -- or sitting on the ground, looked dazed.
9:20 pm
once the officer saw it, they both ran away. gomez polanco ran to a cell that wasn't his, inmate rivera ran to his cell. >> it was a little chaotic. for the most part i tried to be nonconfrontational as much as possible. it's not what i prefer, but, unfortunately, i'm put in -- i'm put into a situation that there's really not too much i can do. >> from what i understand, inmate rivera and inmate gomez polanco believed inmate bernard was working with some sort of police agency. since they thought he was snitching, they decided to assault him. >> both the inmates who attacked bernard were placed in disciplinary segregation. one of them, rafael rivera, says bernard, whose nickname is whitey, had it coming. >> let me tell you something. whitey don't have no friends. because he's a [ bleep ] snitch. working for the police. because he working for the police, every spot that he's going, he going to get [ bleep ] up.
9:21 pm
and i bet you that [ bleep ] is going to happen. people don't play no game. whoever is [ bleep ] with us, they going to get it. he go to his room, we say go into your room. he go into a room, he's finished. >> bernard denies being a snitch. he says frequent visits to the medical unit because of his anxiety and panic attacks have caused some inmates to suspect he's been reporting illicit activities to staff. >> i don't want to have that label follow me all the way through because a lot of these gangs and stuff, they're interconnected, so word travels. >> coming up -- >> there's been rumors going around about suboxone, which is a synthetic type of heroin, sent into the jail. >> staff must contend with yet another drug. but now -- >> how did they get the suboxone? >> they have a new source of intel. >> one hand washes the other.
9:22 pm
9:23 pm
9:24 pm
on the streets of hackensack, new jersey an increase in heroin use has led to both new arrests and smuggling inside the bergen county jail.
9:25 pm
staff have now been alerted to the presence of another drug. >> there's been rumors going around about suboxone, which is a synthetic type of heroin, sent into the jail, and i'm going to talk to inmate battaglia, see if he knows anything about it. >> nick battaglia, has spent the last seven days in disciplinary segregation after he was caught smuggling a small amount of heroin into the jail. >> what's up, man? >> nothing. what's up? >> you remember me? >> yeah. >> what happened? >> i was found guilty. >> did you know about it? >> like i said, i didn't know the content. i knew that he asked, but i didn't know the contents. i never did heroin. >> never did heroin? >> never. >> what about all the suboxone? >> that was -- it was there for a while. but -- i don't know, man. >> how -- how did you get the
9:26 pm
suboxone in? >> are they going to reduce my sentence? >> what sentence? >> my ten-day sentence. >> it's ten days. you already got freaking seven in. what are you worried about? >> because it's elaborate. it's very elaborate. >> one hand always washes the other. >> battaglia says strips of suboxone are glued to sheets of lined paper in letters mailed to inmates. then covered up with a matching strip of paper. >> put this in the middle page. because y'all never check the middle page. you just -- >> glued? >> glued perfectly. >> so you've got to line up all the lines. >> perfectly. >> how much is coming in? eight -- eighsuxones a week. >> strips? >> strips. eight -- eight milligrams. >> what does that go for? >> 50 a pop. >> 50 a pop. >> i was shocked. never expected him to admit he
9:27 pm
knew about it, but i was more taken back by the fact that he actually could be providing helpful information about the suboxone that's coming into the jail. and hopefully we can follow some leads and prevent it from coming in. >> and you said once a week? >> once a week. >> at 50 a pop? >> 50 a pop. >> so he's making $350 profit over the course of 26 weeks, that you know of. so you're looking at $9,100 total profit, tax-free. >> that's a lot. >> if that person was, in fact, getting in as much suboxone as he told me, that's a significant amount. and it can be dangerous to the facility, so that's something we try and prevent. >> officer obajinski then presses battaglia to identify the inmate behind the suboxone smuggling. >> at least give me a little hint on it. >> battaglia only points to a nickname written on the wall
9:28 pm
without revealing the actual name of the inmate. >> the big one? so you don't want to look like a rat? i respect that. the inmate that was mentioned is a smooth mover. he's a jailer. he did a significant amount of time in new york state prison system before he came here. so, you know, somebody to keep a watchful eye on. >> think you can get me back into s-4? >> i don't see a problem with that. >> appreciate that. >> his one request was to go back to a certain unit. i can grant that request. he helps me, i help him. that inmate's now in my pocket. i do him a favor, he wants to return the favor and tell me what's going on. so, you know, one hand has to wash the other. >> coming up -- >> you guys are suspicious of an envelope or a package or something coming in that would be suspect, bring it to the attention of your supervisor.
9:29 pm
>> staff gears up to choke off the drug flow. and -- >> you shouldn't have told cops i was armed and i tried to kill you. they walked into the house armed. they could have shot and killed me. did you ever think of that? >> yeah, they could have. >> william bernard gets a visit from the man who had him arrested. his father. profen. and i had fallen asleep... (scrappy barks) (amanda) he was totally freaked out, digging and pawing at me. and when i woke up i realized that i was in anaphylaxis and went to the emergency room. i don't know what i would do if he wasn't there. he's the best boy. (vo) through the subaru share the love event, we've helped the aspca save nearly forty thousand animals so far. get zero percent financing for 63 months on select models, plus we'll donate two hundred and fifty dollars to charity.
9:30 pm
9:31 pm
9:32 pm
i'm dara brown with the hour's top stories. erie, pennsylvania got more than a foot of snow after a storm dropped more than five feet around christmas. the snowfall this month broke records for the city in western pennsylvania. the heaviest snow bands are expected to move from erie later tonight. and rehearsals in times square for the new year's eve ball drop is on. nypd is enhancing security for the celebration. it includes dogs trained to pick up traces of explosive particles left behind a bomb. now back to "lockup." due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised.
9:33 pm
♪ life inside the bergen county jail has been tough enough for william bernard. he says fights and harassment by other inmates has caused his stutter to worsen and sent him into panic attacks. he believes frequent visits to medical for anxiety treatments have led some inmates to believe he's an informant. now charged with threatening to kill his father and assaulting the police officers who came to arrest him, he's consumed by thoughts of spending up to 20 years in prison if found guilty. >> i'm just afraid my father will get on the stand and testify against me. i think that would be a really strong point in a case, especially with a jury. and just -- just that thought alone that i can get a ridiculous amount of time for
9:34 pm
something that i didn't do really, really just that thought throws me almost completely over -- over the edge. >> bernard's arrest stems from an argument with his father over his father's missing keys and wallet. and now william bernard sr. has come to visit his son. >> we were best friends. you know, we would fish and camp together. we did all the repairs on the house together. so we got along, other than the alcohol. that really destroyed things. he's got an alcohol problem and he needs to address it. and obviously, in here there's no alcohol. let's just hope he makes the best of it while he's in. he gets himself sober and gets a good base in his sobriety while he's in. >> hey, dad. >> son, how you doing? >> not -- not -- not -- not bad. i just really wanted to find out from your point of view, like, i read your statement. and i was kind of -- and still
9:35 pm
am in shock and awe to what was written in that statement that you had made that night. >> well, i don't know how the keys that were taken out of my -- this jacket pocket, actually, were between your mattresses. >> yeah, but i -- i don't know how we go from far extreme to have me for -- for -- for unlawful purpose of a gun, which was put into your head, and saying that i was going to kill you. then it came down to your statement was the sole reason why -- why i'm about to spend time in prison. >> well, you had a -- an illegal weapon and you were on probation. as ridiculous as it may sound, a bb gun they consider a weapon in this state. >> they only consider it a weapon when it's used unlawfully. okay? i checked the laws. and it was used unlawfully apparently because i put it to your head.
9:36 pm
>> you put it to your own head too. >> you don't even remember coming into my room sitting on the couch next to me watching a movie because you hadn't been sober. how much did you drink before you came home? >> i don't know. maybe two or three beers. it was 10:00 when i came home. >> so between 6:30 and 10:30, 11:00, you only had two or three drinks? that's -- that's a little -- that's a little far-fetched. >> maybe three or four. yeah. >> have you seen my actual photo? do i need to show you the photo, the two black eyes, the blood everywhere, my skull split open? >> you shouldn't have resisted arrest. >> i didn't resist arrest. >> then what did they have to go into the house with their guns drawn? >> because you said i put you at gunpoint. it's all in the statement. >> well, you should have just walked down the stairs. >> you shouldn't have told cops i was armed and threatening to kill you. then they were walking in the house armed. they could have shot and killed me. >> yeah, they could have. >> did you ever think of that? >> yeah. they could have. >> you won't do anything to change it because you know the truth.
9:37 pm
>> there isn't anything i can do to change it. there's nothing i can do to change it. >> i love you, dad. i would never do that to you. you know that. >> well, i love you too, son, but i wouldn't -- i didn't say any untruths. >> that report, they just walked you through it and told you -- told you exactly what to write and just told you to sign away on the "x," right? >> yeah. basically, yeah, that's usually the way that statement thing goes. and i told your lawyer i wouldn't testify to any of it in a courtroom, so good luck with it. >> hearing his father won't testify might be a relief to bernard, but it doesn't mean his charges will be dropped. it might, however, help facilitate a plea deal for a lighter sentence. >> there's a lot of stress in here. and to be dealing with this -- with this case and -- and deal with the people in here and have them stealing from you. guys starting fights with me for no reason.
9:38 pm
smacking me in the face yesterday. throws me into an anxiety attack because i can't fight. you have no idea what i have to deal with. none whatsoever. >> no, i probably don't. i've never been in prison before. >> shaking -- can't -- can't -- can't talk. >> i know, you're stuttering and shaking now anyway. you never did that on the outside. i'd be a little worried about it if i was in there, too. >> i'm just -- i get to the point i'm so angry, there's nothing i can do. >> well, it's a tough situation. it really -- no real winner there. >> dad, it's only going to get worse. >> hopefully when you're done with your time, you'll have a nice, quiet place to recuperate. it's about all i can say other than to keep coming to see you and keep writing to you. you just got to learn to accept it. get over it. get past it. i'll see you next week, all
9:39 pm
right? all right. bye. i love you. >> it's tough, you know, just like to talk to my father and -- and just how differently he sees everything. just like -- just like i felt yesterday, just like slapped in the face. >> he's a real good kid when he -- when he doesn't drink. or when he doesn't drink a lot. so takes time, that's all. it will take time. >> alcohol or drugs have played a role in the majority of convictions that have come out of bergen county. and recently, staff has uncovered evidence that heroin and a synthetic drug called suboxone have been smuggled into inmates through the mail. >> we developed information whereas they're able to wet the
9:40 pm
strips and put them into the glue that's listed on the envelope. it's hard to detect. >> if you guys are suspicious of an envelope or package coming in that would be suspect, bring it to the attention of your supervisor. >> we released information to the staff prior to the change of shift, so anything that's important or imperative they need to know prior to taking over their post, we'll try and share that with them here. >> just be conscious of it, guys. just make sure you know it's out there and it's something that can definitely impact how your post operates, okay? >> i knew people that brought it in. i knew people that sold it. i knew everybody. >> nick battaglia was recently sent to segregation after officers intercepted a heroin-laced birthday card that was addressed to him. battaglia then told staff how suboxone gets into the jail, even pointing to the nickname of an inmate dealer scrawled on the cell wall.
9:41 pm
battaglia now says he's taken part in suboxone dealing as well. >> suboxone was brought in so i could support myself, you know. i made a little bit of money, but i also took it regularly. >> so you were in cahoots at all with the person on the back wall? >> no, no, not at all. we don't have a good history. at all. so, it's -- >> why? >> we just don't. >> well, i'm going to assume something. if he's bringing it in and selling it, and you're bringing it in and selling it, is that a conflict? >> yeah, yeah. >> competition, perhaps? >> um -- yeah. >> coming up -- >> i was going through it, opening, you know, checking for anything and then i ripped off the seal and we found four suboxone tabs right on the seal. >> and now another inmate is on the hot seat. >> do you look guilty in our eyes? what do you think? >> i mean, i hope not. i'm just --
9:42 pm
>> you want to sit in my chair and i'll sit there? sit there. sit there. sit there. you can ask me the questions. >> and nick battaglia is back in general population with both a plan -- >> i just look for easy prey, you know, little white boys. it's an easy target, easy money. >> -- and a friend. >> i made a cake for nick for -- for his birthday. i saw the change in rich when we moved into the new house.
9:43 pm
9:44 pm
but having his parents over was enlightening. ♪
9:45 pm
you don't like my lasagna? no, it's good. -hmm. -oh. huh. [ both laugh ] here, blow. blow on it. you see it, right? is there a draft in here? i'm telling you, it's so easy to get home insurance on progressive can't you from becoming your parents. but we can save you money when you bundle home and auto. behind the walls of the bergen county jail, inmate mail has always undergone scrutiny, but after staff recently discovered heroin concealed inside a card and learned that another drug, suboxone, is also
9:46 pm
being smuggled in, they have been put on alert. >> if you guys are suspicious of an envelope or a package or something coming in that would be suspect, bring it to the attention of your supervisor. >> and 24 hours later, officer brosky scored. >> yesterday in our lineup they described how there were suboxone coming in the mail. they were licking it and either putting it in between pieces of paper or under the seal, on stamps. when the mail came in, we were pretty diligent. i was going through it, opening, checking just for anything. and then i ripped off the seal and we found four suboxone tabs right on the seal. >> the letter was addressed to inmate jerry nunez, who has now been called down to speak with investigators. nunez denies any knowledge of the letter or the person who sent it to him. >> i had nothing to do with this. i hope somebody's trying to set me up or -- that seems to be the case. >> we have the mail in evidence. >> okay. >> there was suboxone attached
9:47 pm
to it. a birthday card addressed to you. put yourself in our shoes. what's two and two? you understand why we're asking all these questions? >> i know, you guys are doing your job. >> do you look guilty in our eyes? what do you think? >> i mean, i hope not. i just -- >> you want to sit in my chair and i'll sit there? sit there. sit there. >> now you question him. >> you can ask me questions. >> think of all the questions. >> we're decent guys, right? >> mostly wish i could help you guys. you know? >> you wouldn't be helping me. you'd be helping yourself. i don't need your help. you know what suboxone is. >> to help you -- from withdrawal. they gave it to me in here. >> so you know what it is? >> yeah. >> you're well aware. >> yeah, it's to help you from withdrawing. i don't see how that would benefit anybody. know what i'm saying? >> in the jail setting, how do they get high on it? you're not in trouble, man. i know you know. >> i don't see how it would get you high. it didn't get me high. just helped me from [ bleep ] in my pants and throwing up. you know what i'm saying?
9:48 pm
>> yeah. what were you doing on the streets that caused you to be on suboxone in here? >> pills. >> sniffing? >> sniffing. >> how long? >> i was 16. i was doing like three. >> you're a good guy. i can see it. >> sure. >> you are, man. spread the word out there for me? >> spread like wildfire. >> good? >> i'm good. >> investigators later cleared nunez from having anything to do with the suboxone mailed to him. they concluded that he was most likely victimized by another inmate who would eventually steal the letter from him. >> ready? all right. you're going to south 4. pack your stuff. >> but nick battaglia says he knows full well about the illicit suboxone trade inside the jail. >> i had the suboxone brought in so i could support myself. you know, i made a little bit of money but i also took it regularly. >> battaglia was recently moved from disciplinary segregation to
9:49 pm
the maximum security general population unit. he says he's done trying to bring drugs into jail. >> suboxone was just -- it was fun while it lasted. i mean, all good things come to an end. >> battaglia says now he'll fall back on another technique he's used in the past to make life more comfortable. >> i just look for easy prey. little white boys. it's an easy target. it's easy. easy money. >> i need to find a man. >> man? you got one? >> tell them, look, you're going to get robbed. black boys are going to run on you. it's going to happen. you can either come deal with me or you can just get everything taken. i wouldn't call it extortion. i'd call it maybe protection, just looking out. give me a bag of coffee, you know, give me two packs of peanut butter cookies. do this, do that. you know, clean my room. >> i made a cake for nick for
9:50 pm
his birthday. and i just gave him one of his favorite pictures, too. >> william bernard, also known as whitey, says battaglia is one of his few friends on the unit. >> me and whitey, we're friendly. he's good people. he's white, so i like him. i mean, i'm not racist, but just have my set ways. >> bernard says he's growing more confident these days. along with his new mohawk, he's learned new ways to get by. like trading commissary items. >> everything's for sale. everything. everything has a price. even these little packets of sugar. get ten of these, it's worth $1. three of the oatmeals are worth two soups. >> i'll give you a haircut for that one. i would give you a haircut for free. >> i just got my hair cut. my hair looks good. >> i woke up one morning and i didn't want to get out of bed.
9:51 pm
i was just depressed. just wanted, like, some type of change, you know, because like you're in here and you don't have any control over anything. and i -- basically the only control i have is my hairstyle. and so i wanted the haircut. >> coming up -- >> i'm feeding you and you're providing a service for me. you help me. you clean my room, heat up my water in the morning, wash my dishes after i eat. >> nick battaglia and his new cellmate set up shop in general population. and william bernard acquires new ink and a busted lip.
9:52 pm
9:53 pm
9:54 pm
♪ nick battaglia is still awaiting trial on his charge of aggravated assault. he's trying to make the most of his time in the bergen county jail.
9:55 pm
he's now the house man, or lead inmate worker, of his housing unit. >> everything's going pretty good. got, you know, back in s-4. i'm happy. everything's -- things are on track. >> the only compensation for a house man is more time out of his cell and extra food trays. >> trays up. >> battaglia's new cellmate jonathan bevalac works as a food server. they've created a business of sorts, trading their extra meals for commissary goods, and then they trade those items for favors or even more commissary. >> normally on the tray i just take the main course and the snack. and i'll give away the other, you know, like they're hungry. they don't have -- they get one tray. i get three. you know, i'm feeding you and you're providing a service for me. you help me out. you clean my room, heat up my water in the morning, wash my dishes after i eat.
9:56 pm
i don't -- i won't do nothing for free. >> we have our hand in everything, food, laundry, toilet paper, anything that comes in the tier we have our hand in. >> anything extra. i feel -- i feel some type of way about toilet paper. i don't know why, but when i go through one roll, i need two back. i feel like i can never have enough. >> we got more toilet paper than c.o.s got. >> can i get two bags of coffee? >> four back. >> we make money off of our advantages, too. like a little store, you know. we do what we can, you know, try to make a little bit of money on the side. >> two for ones, sell a soup, you get two back. anything, you get two back. i'm a businessman. i like money. i like being included on anything that gets my money up. >> and the cellmates say they always get paid back. >> i'm more the aggressor. i'm definitely more the aggressor. i don't -- i don't mind it, though.
9:57 pm
>> i guess i've got too good of a heart. but nick gets it done. some people, i think, i'm like, you know, he's a good guy, just let him go with that. but nick likes to charge everybody for everything. no matter what it is. something simple, give me a snack. sometimes i don't mind doing favors. but nick's good about it, though. we're going to go broke if we don't -- don't charge for everything. >> got to look out for me. >> got to make money. >> in the end, it's jail, so it's all about me. >> battaglia got his new position when the inmate who held it prior to him got into trouble. >> i replaced bernard. he got caught tattooing. they moved him to s-2 now. >> william bernard had already given himself a new hairstyle. he got into trouble when staff also noticed a freshly made
9:58 pm
inmate tattoo on his wrist. since tattooing violates jail rules, bernard is confined to a disciplinary cell he now shares with lewis pizzi. >> i wanted it to represent a bronze star or a general star to symbolize the military, because i know a lot of the guys that had passed away had gotten bronze stars, medals of valor, quite a few of them got purple hearts before they even got killed, so i wanted to go along those lines. and i'll probably get a tattoo of a purple heart later on down the road. >> bernard said he chose the star to honor men he served with in the army, who had lost their lives. he also has a new war wound of his own, or in this case a busted lip. from a fight with another inmate. but he says this time he stood up for himself. and it even seems to have improved his stutter. >> he tried to manhandle me, grabbed me by my throat. that didn't work. and he punched me. i told him to stop. like, i wasn't crying or
9:59 pm
anything, i just told him stop, that's enough. i've been here, what, seven months. enough is enough. >> two months later, william bernard would no longer have to worry about defending himself in jail. his judge found him not guilty by reason of insanity. but the legal definition is different than it sounds. the judge says he was competent to stand trial but not in a proper state of mind on the night he had the conflict with his father that led to his arrest. he was remanded to the state department of health, who will monitor him, and he must report to the court every six months for the same period of time he would have gotten in prison had he been convicted. in bernard's case that's 20 years.
10:00 pm
i called my mom and she didn't answer. i pretty much knew in my heart that something was wrong. >> a mother vanished. >> i cried myself to sleep. it's awful realizing your worst nightmare had come true. >> a family's anguish. >> she was gone. >> do you have any idea how hard that was?


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on